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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 January 2006, 11:21 GMT
China travellers in sanitary stew
Chinese travellers wait for the train from Shanghai to Chengdu at Shanghai railway station in Shanghai
Millions of Chinese travel back to their hometowns over the break
A city in southern China has reported a clamour for incontinence pads as locals prepare to make long train journeys home for the Lunar New Year.

Supermarkets in Foshan, Guangdong province, have reported a 50% increase in sales of the pads, the China Daily quoted a local paper as saying.

Millions of Chinese travel home to visit families for the New Year.

Trains become so packed that travellers are often unable to reach the toilet, while others stand in the cubicles.

"In this period, a common train has to transit 2,000 passengers, with only around 1,000 seating tickets," said Zhang Dazhi, an officer of Guangzhou Railway Group in Guangdong.

So many passengers are forced to stand in the corridors for the entire journey, which could easily take more than 24 hours.

Before they even get on the train, travellers often have to queue for long periods to buy their tickets.

Some passengers found the ordeal of returning home for Chinese New Year so horrific last year that they jumped out of the train carriages, according to the China Daily.

Another local newspaper, the United Evening News, spoke to a traveller named Chen, heading home to Anhui province.

He told the paper that the train had been so full the year before, he had been sent to buy a couple of boxes of incontinence pads.

"Going to the toilet was harder than buying a ticket," he said.

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